Tag Archives: digital identity

Request for Comment & IPR Review: PCTF Digital Wallet Draft Recommendation V1.0

Notice of Intent: DIACC is collaborating to develop and publish the Digital Wallet component of the Pan-Canadian Trust Framework (PCTF) to set a baseline of public and private sector interoperability of identity services and solutions. During this public review period, DIACC is looking for community feedback to ensure that the conformance criteria is clear and auditable.

Document Status: These review documents have been developed by members of the DIACC’s Trust Framework Expert Committee (TFEC) who operate under the DIACC controlling policies and consist of representatives from both the private and public sectors. These documents have been approved by the TFEC as Draft Recommendations V1.0.

Summary:

The intent of the PCTF Digital Wallet component is to provide a framework that Digital Identity Ecosystem Participants can use to assess the degree to which the digital wallets that are part of their respective ecosystems accomplish the following: 

  1. Provide Citizens and Consumers with a Digital Identity Wallet that complies with the human rights principles of preserving people’s privacy and control over their information.
  2. Introduces a consistent identity metaphor and consent-driven automated experience across all Ecosystem Participants to reduce impact on users caused by Digital Transformation. 
  3. Contribute to a stable infrastructure with longevity and world-wide interoperability by adopting and supporting relevant standards as appropriate (e.g., W3C Standards for Verifiable Credentials and DIDs). 
  4. Counter cyber vulnerability and extortion by enabling Service Providers to incrementally replace existing login mechanisms, some of which may be exploitable, without suffering negative impact to business.
  5. Establish an environment of trust within which the wallet’s owner can interact with other Ecosystem Participants such as Issuers, Verifiers, and other Relying Parties.

To learn more about the Pan-Canadian vision and benefits-for-all value proposition please review the Pan-Canadian Trust Framework Overview.

Invitation:

  • All interested parties are invited to comment.

Period:

  • Opens: Apr. 10, 2022 at 23:59 PT | Closes: May 20, 2022 at 23:59 PT

When reviewing the components Conformance Criteria, please consider the following and note that responses to this question are non-binding and serve to improve the PCTF.

  1. Would you consider the Conformance Criteria as auditable or not? That is, could you objectively evaluate if an organization was compliant with that criteria and what evidence would be used to justify that?

Review Documents: PCTF Digital Wallet

Intellectual Property Rights:

Comments must be received within the 30-day comment period noted above. All comments are subject to the DIACC contributor agreement; by submitting a comment you agree to be bound by the terms and conditions therein. DIACC Members are also subject to the Intellectual Property Rights Policy. Any notice of an intent not to license under either the Contributor Agreement and/or the Intellectual Property Rights Policy with respect to the review documents or any comments must be made at the Contributor’s and/or Member’s earliest opportunity, and in any event, within the 30-day comment period. IPR claims may be sent to review@diacc.ca. Please include “IPR Claim” as the subject.

Process:

  • All comments are subject to the DIACC contributor agreement.
  • Submit comments using the provided DIACC Comment Submission Spreadsheet.
  • Reference the draft and corresponding line number for each comment submitted.
  • Email completed DIACC Comment Submission Spreadsheet to review@diacc.ca.
  • Questions may be sent to review@diacc.ca.

Value to Canadians:

The PCTF Digital Wallet component will provide value to all Canadians, businesses, and governments by setting a baseline of business, legal, and technical interoperability. The DIACC’s mandate is to collaboratively develop and deliver resources to help Canadian’s to digitally transact with security, privacy, and convenience. The PCTF is one such resource and guides digital identity ecosystem interoperability by putting policy, standards, and technology into practice aligning with defined levels of assurance. The DIACC is a not-for-profit coalition of members from the public and private sector who are making a significant and sustained investment in accelerating Canada’s Identity Ecosystem.

Context:

The purpose of this review is to ensure transparency in the development and diversity of a truly Pan-Canadian, and international, input. In alignment with our Principles for an Identity Ecosystem, processes to respect and enhance privacy are being prioritized through every step of the PCTF development process.

DIACC expects to modify and improve these Draft Recommendations based upon public comments. Comments made during the review will be considered for incorporation into the next iteration and DIACC will prepare a Disposition of Comments to provide transparency with regard to how each comment was handled.

2022 Budget Statement

Canada’s trusted digital ID leader, the DIACC, welcomes Budget 2022 investments for digital transformation and Canadian innovation

TORONTO, APRIL 7, 2022 — Joni Brennan, President of the Digital Identification and Authentication Council of Canada (DIACC) released a statement following the tabling of the federal budget today:

The DIACC welcomes the federal government’s investments for digital transformation and Canadian innovation to enable a thriving digital economy announced in today’s budget.

We have seen throughout the pandemic the heightened role digital services have played in supporting Canadians; however, the disruptive events here in Canada and abroad, including the misinformation and cyber attacks surrounding it, underscore the need to protect our citizens and businesses. Core to that safety is privacy, security and choice in how citizens and businesses across Canada share personal information online. That’s why a safe and secure digital ID ecosystem is essential for the post-pandemic economic recovery. 

Digital ID allows people and organizations to verify themselves online securely and protect personal information while allowing them to control how their information is used and shared. Like a physical ID card, digital ID credentials typically include documents and cards such as driver’s licences and passports. Digital ID is a choice. It is a supplemental tool for people and organizations to access online services.

A digital identity is a highly personal yet critical component to both serve and protect Canadians. We must have a clear path forward on how Canada’s public and private sectors can work together to build a trusted platform that protects our digital identities. 

We know that an effective, safe and secure digital ID ecosystem will save manual operation costs and reduce fraud, saving an estimated $482 million for provincial and federal governments, and $4.5 billion for private sector organizations.

Today’s budget announcement keeps the importance of secure and privacy protecting digital ID in our windows and more work needs to be done to develop this path based on citizen consent, control, and trust. We look forward to collaborating with the government on consultations to support these imperative next steps while finding ways to combat misinformation that surrounds it. 

We are also pleased to see the Government of Canada maintaining the momentum on its commitment to work “towards a common and secure approach for a trusted digital identity platform to support seamless service delivery to Canadians across the country.”

Trusted, interoperability platforms that secure Canadian identities are more critical now than ever before.

About Digital ID and Authentication Council of Canada (DIACC)

The Digital Identification and Authentication Council of Canada (DIACC) is a non-profit coalition of public and private sector organizations committed to developing research and tools to enable secure, robust, and scalable Canadian digital ID solutions and services. With privacy, security, and choice at the forefront of all DIACC initiatives, we aim to enable all Canadians to participate safely and confidently in the global digital economy.

For more information

Krista Pawley

krista@imperativeimpact.com 

416 270 9987

Privacy, Security, and Choice Drive Canadians’ Desire for Digital ID

Digital ID and Authentication Council of Canada Research Finds Canadians Want Digital ID that is user-centric and aligns with their values

Access the full 2021 Research Report
Access the Multi-page Synopsis
Access the One-page Synopsis

Toronto, April 4, 2022 – Canadians need to feel safe and in control when they engage in the digital economy. Core to that safety are privacy, security and choice in how they share personal information online. According to the third annual national survey undertaken by the Digital ID and Authentication Council of Canada (DIACC), a staggering 91 per cent of Canadian respondents are calling for control over their personal data collected by provincial and federal governments. 

Additionally, 86 per cent of respondents want control over personal data collected by private organizations, and 80 per cent want a secure and unified digital ID ecosystem.

“A trusted pan-Canadian digital identity framework is essential to digital economic prosperity,” said DIACC president Joni Brennan. “While there is some progress on recognizing the importance of digital ID, Canada is still at a stage where more work must be done on the policy side to ensure a truly digital economy.”

Unlocking an inclusive digital economy is an opportunity for the government to rebuild much-needed trust among Canadians, enhance privacy, and demonstrate that citizens’ rights are a top priority. According to the Edelman 2021 Canadian Trust Barometer, only 53 per cent of Canadians trust government organizations – a drastic decline of six points since only the previous year.

DIACC’s research reflects this lack of trust. “A trusted digital ID framework needs to be designed with people at the centre. All Canadians need to be able to choose if and how they want to use their digital ID credentials. Digital ID is not intended to replace existing physical ID methods, but as an optional supplemental tool,” Brennan said.

Establishing a trusted digital ID will allow people and organizations the choice to verify themselves online securely, while protecting personal information with no user traceability. It offers a decentralized, privacy-enhancing solution for both the private and public sectors.

The DIACC applauds the federal government for including digital identity as a priority in Treasury Board President Mona Fortier’s mandate letter. The need to invest in digital ID was also referenced twice in the House of Commons Finance Committee’s 2021 pre-budget recommendation as critical to supporting Canada’s Digital Government Strategy in secure service delivery.

“It’s encouraging to see recognition of the critical role that digital identity plays in enabling Canada’s economy; however, we need to see a real commitment to action if we are going to reap the benefits of Digital ID and Digital Trust in meaningful economic growth,” said Dave Nikolejsin, the DIACC’s Board Chair, referring to the DIACC’s Pan-Canadian Trust Framework™ (PCTF).

The PCTF is a publicly available set of tools, shared principles, and guidelines to help organizations operate in a digital ecosystem. It includes processes like Notice and Consent, Authentication, Verification, Privacy, Credentials, and Infrastructures – both technologically and operationally.

Most importantly, the PCTF is citizen-centric. It is designed to keep users safe.

“This is an opportunity for industry and government leaders to come together and build a strong partnership. We have the fundamentals, we have the expertise, and we have the framework. Now, we need mutual investment across sectors to put the PCTF into action,” said Franklin Garrigues, VP External Ecosystems at TD Bank, DIACC Board Vice-Chair.

Nearly two-thirds of survey respondents are calling for governments to collaborate with the private sector to develop a pan-Canadian digital ID. On top of this, three quarters want the government to move quickly.

Privacy. Security. Choice.

DIACC is committed to developing research and tools to enable secure, robust, and scalable Canadian digital identity (digital ID) solutions and services. With digital advancements happening at a surefire rate, DIACC prioritizes privacy, security, and, most importantly, choice of use at the forefront of all digital ID initiatives.

To achieve real growth and sustainability, Canadians need transparency in governance. They need a digital ID they can own and choose to use. A digitally and economically prosperous Canada depends on it.

Learn more about the DIACC and digital ID.

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ABOUT DIACC

DIACC is a growing coalition of public and private sector organizations who are making a significant and sustained effort to ensure Canada’s full, secure, and beneficial participation in the global digital economy.  By solving challenges and leveraging opportunities, Canada has the chance to secure at least three per cent of unrealized GDP or $100 billion of potential growth by 2030. Seizing this opportunity is a must in a digital society as we work through the COVID pandemic challenges. Learn more about the DIACC mandate

DIACC was created as a result of the Minister of Finance’s Electronic Payments Task Force that recommended that Canada needs a framework for digital identity and authentication that a self-governing body of experts must create.

Want to contribute to a digital ID ecosystem? Apply to become a DIACC member today. 

ABOUT THE RESEARCH FIRM

Burak Jacobson Research Partners is a full-service market research consulting firm headquartered in Toronto, Ontario. Founded in 1981, Burak Jacobson has conducted over 4,000 research projects in 39 countries across a variety of industries.

Guidance on the Acceptable Use of Biometrics – DIACC Special Interest Group Insights

In the fall of 2020, A DIACC Special Interest Group (SIG) was created to address the following question, “Do we need a made-for-Canada biometrics standard or Pan-Canadian Trust Framework (PCTF) component or does an existing national, international, or industry standard meet our needs?”.

With input from public and private sector DIACC members and liaisons, the following guidance was created as a recommendation that the DIACC’s Trust Framework Expert Committee (TFEC) agreed to consider. Specified business, legal, and technical process requirements will be identified and considered by the TFEC for inclusion in future versions of the PCTF.

Guidance-on-the-Acceptable-Use-of-Biometrics

DIACC Women in Identity: Julianne Trotman

DIACC is hosting a series of spotlights showcasing our amazing female DIACC members in the digital identity space, noting the importance of diversity. These spotlights will be regularly socialized through DIACC’s LinkedIn and Twitter channels as well as our monthly member newsletters.

If you’re a DIACC member and would like us to feature your spotlight, contact us today to learn more!

What has your career journey looked like?

It has not been what I would call a straight line. I started out in accounting and financial services before I transitioned to what I call my second career, marketing. I will say that every discipline and role I have had has allowed me to gain a wide selection of experiences and expertises. These have ultimately made me a more well-rounded marketer that views my role and responsibilities from a wider business perspective.

When you were 20 years old, what was your dream job and why?

I wanted to be a backup dancer for Janet Jackson. I was a competitive dancer and I wanted to make dance my career, however dance is unforgiving on the body and ultimately only a very small few make it to that level :)


As a female leader, what has been the most significant barrier in your career?

Imposter Syndrome. For me, I have had to fight through the “I don’t belong at this table” feeling, both from self doubt but also from men in the room who have made the environment one where I have not felt like I belong. On average, I have learnt to overcome this and to let my skills and experience speak for themselves.

How do you balance work and life responsibilities?

This has been a challenge for most of my career, however over the past few years I have learned to find balance. I have carved out time to do the things I enjoy such as travelling, road riding, golf, and photography. It is not always easy or practical (depending on your role) to be able to turn things off, from a work perspective, at 5 or 6 pm but I do believe that you have to create a division between work and state. When I am hanging out with my family and friends I try to be present and in the moment and when I am working I am fully committed and engaged in my work and my team.

How can more women be encouraged to pursue careers in the digital ID/tech space?

I think introducing girls into STEM at an early age is a great way to get them comfortable and inspired with the disciplines. Early exposure and education to the tech space is key so that girls can see that these disciplines are not just for boys and that anyone can do it.

What are some strategies you have learned to help women achieve a more prominent role in their organizations?

A couple of things (1) You should have a deliberate plan with regards to how you intend to advance in your career. For some this may come easily without much forethought, but for many of us being purposeful helps to provide a roadmap to our goals. (2) Don’t be afraid to highlight your achievements. For women especially, this tends to go against the way we are hardwired. However, if you don’t take control of your career, you can not expect others to and finally (3) Find an advocate, not a mentor, but someone that you can confide in, get advice from and who knows your abilities and will campaign for you as you move through your career.

What will be the biggest challenge for the generation of women behind you?

As far as we think we have progressed, with regards to women breaking the glass ceiling, in many respects it still is one step forward two steps back. You will know they have overcome the biggest challenge when they are described as tech professionals and not prefaced as women in tech.

What advice would you give to young women entering the field?

Be curious, never stop learning, and be bold.


Julianne Trotman is the Growth Marketing Lead at Vaultie

Follow Julianne on LinkedIn


Canada’s Community of Digital Identity Leaders Grows to Over 100 Members

Digital ID and Authentication Council of Canada (DIACC) welcomes the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security, City of Toronto, Deloitte, the Province of Quebec, and VISA as members.

Toronto, June 1, 2021 — Governments and businesses across Canada are embracing the opportunities presented by digital ID to deliver secure, trusted and privacy-enhancing digital services to enable Canadians to transact efficiently and securely online. As Canada’s community of public and private sector digital ID leaders, the DIACC is pleased to welcome the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security, City of Toronto, Deloitte, the Province of Quebec, and VISA as members. 

“Today, more than ever before, our communities, our businesses, and our citizens are looking to the leaders within the DIACC to help deliver a robust, secure, trusted digital ID ecosystem that works for all Canadians. Our economy depends on it,” stated David Nikolejsin, Chair of the DIACC Board.

“We are thrilled to welcome this new cohort of public and private sector members to the DIACC,” said Joni Brennan, DIACC President. “With over 100 members including the government of Canada, provincial governments, municipal governments, financial institutions, telcos, technology companies, consulting companies, SMEs, academic partners, international organizations, and nonprofits, the DIACC is Canada’s largest and most inclusive community of digital ID leaders.”

“When the DIACC began nearly a decade ago, it was a small group of passionate public and private sector organizations committed to unlocking economic opportunities for Canadian consumers and businesses while protecting and promoting Canadian values and perspectives in the digital economy,” said Eros Spadotto, EVP, Telus. 

“Building on the vision of the founding members, the non-profit DIACC coalition has grown to over 100 private and public sector leaders who are working together towards establishing an interoperable ecosystem that Canadians can use with confidence,” added Robert Devries, Assistant Deputy Minister Platforms, Ontario Digital Service.

In 2020 the DIACC  delivered on that vision with the launch of the Pan-Canadian Trust Framework™, a robust, privacy-enhancing trust framework shaped by Canadian values that permits trusted digital identity and provides clear guidelines on digital interoperability. 

Recent research by the DIACC underlines Canadians’ desire for, and expectation of secure, trusted and convenient digital transactions – a desire that has increased as a result of the pandemic. 

“From receiving emergency pandemic benefits to ensuring health records are correct and helping children and youth with online education, there are many ways in which a secure digital ID is essential to the functioning of daily life during a pandemic – and beyond,” added CJ Ritchie, CIO of the Government of British Columbia. 

According to the DIACC research, the majority of Canadians believe it is important for federal and provincial governments to move quickly on enabling digital ID in a safe and secure manner, according to the survey. It also shows that collaboration between governments and the private sector continues to be considered the best approach to create a pan-Canadian digital ID framework. 

With the addition of these new members and increasing demand from Canadians, it is clear that there is no better time for governments and businesses to invest in making digital ID a national public policy priority.

ABOUT THE DIACC

The DIACC is a non-profit coalition of public and private sector leaders committed to developing a Canadian digital identification and authentication framework to enable Canada’s full and secure participation in the global digital economy. The DIACC was created as a result of the federal government’s Task Force for the Payments System Review and members include representatives from both the federal and provincial levels of government as well as private sector leaders.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Krista Pawley 

Krista@ImperativeImpact.com

416-270-9987

Equitable digital identity access as the key to unlocking sustainable development

Owning and accessing an official proof of identity remains a challenge for over 1 billion people in the world. This lack of documented identity disproportionately affects marginalized groups like women and ethnic minorities, especially in developing nations where barriers exist to the issuing of basic credentials like birth certificates or national identity documents. Without a functional identity, marginalized communities remain unable to take advantage of key financial, educational, and political resources the digital world can provide. This disparity is a primary focus for the global community. The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals even enumerated Goal 16.9 with a specific target: By 2030, providing legal identity for all, including birth registration. If even basic analog identifiers are out of the reach of people across the globe, then digital identity proves nearly impossible for them to obtain. Though Canada remains a leader in digital identity, challenges remain with complete integration of marginalized communities into their developed digital identity ecosystems. This post stands to outline the global problem, and provide insight into a global solution framework which could possibly be applied to the Canadian context. 

A gender divide in digital access has been prevalent for decades, and has widened over the past years between developed and developing countries. Roughly 330 million fewer women than men have access to a smartphone and the mobile internet. They are 26% less likely to own a mobile device, and in South Asia and Africa those proportions stand at 70% and 34% respectively. Without access to the mobile internet and the ability to affirm their digital identity, people are left unable to utilize key resources that could help sustain them and their families. These resources could include access to financial accounts, employment opportunities, microfinance applications, digital platforms to create independent income, public health and healthcare initiatives, and the breadth of the Internet as a place to gain knowledge and skills. With ready access to these digital platforms, marginalized communities can find financial stability and health resources that will improve their quality of life. 

Economic development organizations such as the World Bank are developing strategies to introduce Digital ID frameworks to its member countries. The World Bank’s Identity for Development (ID4D) Diagnostics provides a possible methodology to identify ways to improve identity management systems around the world. Inclusion is a key priority for ID4D, with a focus on systems with high levels of coverage and access. The universality of coverage is defined in both longitudinal and latitudinal terms. Longitudinal coverage spans the lifetime of an individual, while latitudinal coverage refers to the breadth of society the system covers. Accessibility requires the removal of barriers to usage and disparities in the availability of information and technology. ID4D stresses the importance of “inclusion by design”, tasking system builders to communicate with marginalized communities to see where legal, social, and economic gaps may exist to avoid further exacerbating them. According to ID4D, these identity systems should also possess a high level of interoperability. Interoperable systems are more efficient, both in time and money, and allow for integration across multiple platforms. It also suggests using open standards, rather than proprietary technology, which foster innovation in the system and encourage technological advances to be made.

Does the way that ID4D is applied in developing nations provide any lessons for how a developed country can better serve its marginalized communities? Do other solution frameworks exist to map a developed digital identity ecosystem for gaps in coverage and access? By asking these questions, we begin a conversation that will result in improving identity access for all. When connected to a digital identity, marginalized communities are able to take advantage of a wealth of resources that can improve their financial, social, and political standing. In turn, this supports sustainable growth in their home country and contributes to a system where all can benefit. 


About the Author:

Kyra John is a technology coordinator in the wireless industry and passionate about diversity, inclusion, and global citizenship. She has always been drawn to complex problems, and is excited to work as a Community Volunteer with DIACC to delve deeper into topics relating to technology and equity. She has a degree in international affairs and conflict resolution from The George Washington University and enjoys music, reading, and alpine hiking in her free time.

Sources:

  1. http://www.oecd.org/digital/bridging-the-digital-gender-divide.pdf
  2. http://documents1.worldbank.org/curated/en/370121518449921710/Guidelines-for-ID4D-Diagnostics.pdf
  3. Goal 16 | Department of Economic and Social Affairs
  4. https://www.gsma.com/mobilefordevelopment/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Exploring-the-Gender-Gap-in-Identification-Policy-Insights-from-10-Countries-Web.pdf
  5. How Women Are Using Technology to Advance Gender Equality and Peace
  6. Digital identity is coming of age in Canada in 2020 | IT World Canada News
  7. Most Canadians want digital identity for online government services, DIACC plans its role | Biometric Update

DIACC Women in Identity: Azadeh Dindayal

DIACC is hosting a series of spotlights showcasing our amazing female DIACC members in the digital identity space, noting the importance of diversity. These spotlights will be regularly socialized through DIACC’s LinkedIn and Twitter channels as well as our monthly member newsletters.

If you’re a DIACC member and would like us to feature your spotlight, contact us today to learn more!

What has your career journey looked like?

I’ve had an incredible journey working and meeting individuals who are passionate about transformation, digital experiences and pushing the boundaries of what has been possible.

When you were 20 years old, what was your dream job and why?

I don’t think I ever wanted to confine myself to one dream job. It was about what I could learn and the people I would interact with that mattered most.


As a female leader, what has been the most significant barrier in your career?

Overworking. I worked hard, very long hours, and many late nights. It caused me to burn out and not focus on the things that mattered. I now make a continuous effort to keep a balance.

How do you balance work and life responsibilities?

Taking time out for my health and stress relief on a regular basis is key to how I manage and balance my life and work now.

How can more women be encouraged to pursue careers in the digital ID/tech space?

I think meeting other women in the industry is a good start. A mentorship program would be even better. I wish I had that when I was starting out my career.

What are some strategies you have learned to help women achieve a more prominent role in their organizations?

Internal sponsorship of women by other leaders is very important. We need to learn to humbly ask for that sponsorship and genuinely put in the time and effort to achieve the goals we set for ourselves.

What will be the biggest challenge for the generation of women behind you?

There’s many. But I believe the greatest challenge will continue to be managing family and work for some time until this issue is systematically addressed by our public & private sector. Childcare is not considered a right in Ontario. Stop the stigma of motherhood. Companies need to offer men and women both a fair and balanced chance. Being a parent is not a disability.

What advice would you give to young women entering the field?

Don’t set limits for yourself. Don’t be shy to ask why. Make friends everywhere.


Azadeh Dindayal is the Vice President of Marketing at Identos.

Follow Azadeh on Twitter and LinkedIn


DIACC welcomes Budget 2021 investments for digital transformation and innovation

Canada’s trusted digital ID leader, the DIACC, welcomes Budget 2021 investments for digital transformation and Canadian innovation

TORONTO, APRIL 19, 2021 — Joni Brennan, President of the Digital Identification and Authentication Council of Canada (DIACC) released a statement following the tabling of the federal budget today:

If the global pandemic has shown us anything, it’s that the need for reliable and secure data is paramount as businesses, governments and Canadians from Vancouver to Quebec City to Charlottetown and everywhere in between move online. 

From receiving emergency pandemic benefits to ensuring health records are correct and helping children and youth with online education, the pandemic has put a renewed spotlight on the need for governments to move with urgency to invest in digital infrastructure. In fact, it’s critical to ensuring Canadians receive the services they need and that businesses can participate fully and securely in the global digital economy.

At the core of this infrastructure is a secure digital identity which is essential to the function of daily life during a pandemic. 

The DIACC, Canada’s digital ID leader, is pleased to see the federal government’s recognition that our economic future depends on digital investments. Initiatives like the investment in the Known Traveller Digital Identity pilot project and the Canada Digital Adoption Program will help Canadians, businesses and governments on this path. 

However, at the core of a safe and secure digital environment is a safe and secure digital ID. Given the federal government’s priorities around a Digital Charter, the government lost an opportunity to highlight the important need for investments in digital ID. Investing in digital ID makes economic sense, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). For SMEs, the impact of digital identity could be used to improve processes that are difficult today, resulting in a potential $4.5 billion of added value to SMEs and reinvestments in the Canadian economy.

Our digital future rests on getting digital ID right. We look forward to working with governments to meaningfully adopt a digital ID ecosystem, especially as we look toward post-pandemic economic recovery.

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About Digital ID and Authentication Council of Canada (DIACC)

The Digital Identification and Authentication Council of Canada was created following the federal government’s Task Force for the Payments System Review to bring together public and private sector partners in developing a safe and secure digital ID ecosystem. The DIACC has 100 high profile members spanning several sectors from financial institutions, networks for payments and for identity verification, technology service providers, strategy and integration experts and federal and provincial governments. For 10 years the DIACC has built up this important sector as the trusted voice for driving the development of standards and a trust framework that will secure a fully digital Canada. With established global partnerships that will help Canada lead efforts in international digital interoperability and accreditation, the DIACC provides a world-leading forum to foster collaboration for developing and recommending harmonizing policies, standards, and regulatory changes with international benchmarks — innovative solutions to navigate the digital future.

For more information
Krista Pawley
krista@imperativeimpact.com 
416 270 9987

DIACC Women in Identity: Cosanna Preston-Idedia

DIACC is hosting a series of spotlights showcasing our amazing female DIACC members in the digital identity space, noting the importance of diversity. These spotlights will be regularly socialized through DIACC’s LinkedIn and Twitter channels as well as our monthly member newsletters.

If you’re a DIACC member and would like us to feature your spotlight, contact us today to learn more!

What has your career journey looked like?

My journey has been far from a straight line. I have a BA in political science from the University of Alberta and a masters in African Studies from the University of Oxford. Since finishing my education, I’ve worked in multiple sectors and countries. I started in student journalism, shifted to the non-profit start-up space working on community development with a social justice lens and dabbled in academia for a bit. Eventually, I settled into public relations in Nigeria for 4+ years. Upon moving back to Canada, I spent time in customer experience strategy for a power utility before joining the Saskatchewan government, first as the director for digital citizen services and now for digital ID.

When you were 20 years old, what was your dream job and why?

I’ve never quite had a dream job but I always knew I wanted to make a positive impact in people’s lives and somehow do my part in making the world a better place. That’s why I am so drawn to the public sector.


As a female leader, what has been the most significant barrier in your career?

I’m extremely fortunate to say that I’ve had very few challenges on account of my gender identity. That said, I’ve grown up in professional environments where the gender balance is more prevalent. I have heard enough horrendous stories from other female leaders to know that my experience is not the norm. My barriers have more come from age, especially in my earlier years of leadership. As a young leader people consistently assumed I knew less and could do less. We often undervalue our youth as a society and this is something I consistently remind myself of as I work with the next generation of youth.

How do you balance work and life responsibilities?

Work life balance is sacred to me, as is my respect for deadlines, and those two things can often come into conflict. My general rules for myself and my teams:

  • Work to outcomes. Be clear on your deliverables and get the job done. But in doing so, set boundaries and prioritize.
  • Ask for help in doing this if you need it. We only have 8 hours in a day and weekends and evenings should be exceptions, not the expectation.
  • Take your holidays! Payouts and carrying over should be exceptions not the norm.

How can more women be encouraged to pursue careers in the digital ID/tech space?

Tech doesn’t have to be intimidating (look at my background!) and tech also doesn’t have to mean being a developer. But I do believe that, love it or hate it, tech will continue to grow ever more central to our society. Dig into your passion and spend the time to understand how technology is impacting, shaping and changing that space. If the actual technical details aren’t for you, look to the concepts, outcomes, and impacts that technology has to offer and dig in there.

What are some strategies you have learned to help women achieve a more prominent role in their organizations?

Lift people up. Lift people up. Lift people up.

This goes for all voices that need more prominence in our organizations, not just women. Take the time on projects, in meetings etc., to give space to those who may not naturally take it themselves. This can come in many forms:

  • End meetings with a round table.
  • Work with a teammate or colleague to help them find professional outlets to develop their passion.
  • Be a mentor and a coach.
  • Offer public praise and private – and always constructive feedback.
  • If you have a hand in assigning resources, prioritize diversity. Diverse perspectives always benefit an organization and provides opportunities to lift people up.

What will be the biggest challenge for the generation of women behind you?

Women are a very diverse group and our challenges are not homogenous. For those like me, who have faced very little discrimination on account of their gender identity, the challenge will continue to be to recognize and use that privilege to widen the conversation and create space, not just for other women but for all those along the gender spectrum. We cannot become complacent that equality for some women is equal to equality for all.

What advice would you give to young women entering the field?

Find your passion. Hone your strengths. Dig into the details, stay outcomes focused and curious, and always, always stay open to feedback.

Cosanna Preston-Idedia is the Director of Digital Identity at the Government of Saskatchewan

Follow Cosanna on Twitter at @cosanna and LinkedIn

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